Field Notes

#WhoMadeMyClothes - Rue de Seine

26 April 2017

Posted in: Industry, H&F Presents, Environment

The last week of April kicks off Fashion Revolutions ‘Who Made My Clothes’ Week. The one week yearly that encourages consumers to ask fashion brands, who made my clothes. The consumers then hope for the response from these brands to find out who was behind their clothing item. 

Hawes & Freer are taking part in this global campaign, to showcase NZ designers. Who are the people in the NZ fashion industry? What is their background and do they value the importance of NZ made clothes as much as other Kiwis do? 

We have the answers. New Zealand meet the people behind your NZ made clothes.


Annette Aughton – Quality Control Checker – Rue de Seine

How long have you been involved in the industry and where did you start?

I have been involved in the clothing/fashion industry since leaving high school, so for about 40 years. I studied in Wellington at Polytech doing clothing and textiles in the late 1970's. I was fortunate to be awarded a job at the end of my study. A 2 year position working for a clothing manufacturer in Auckland called House of Raymond, where I was taken through the whole manufacturing process working a few months in each area to then become an assistant pattern-maker/designer.

How has the fashion industry evolved over the years?

The industry has changed a lot, especially since the emergence of computers and the internet. New Zealand was a lot more isolated and travelling overseas to view new designs and inspiration was an important requirement for designers and manufacturers. Now a lot is researched on the internet, it is easier to see future trends. Another change came in the 1980's when clothing began to be made in China or away from New Zealand, this was a time when the machining skill base began to decline. You knew that in the future having garments made locally would be more expensive to produce, less competitive and harder to find the skill to make them.

How important is it for a garment to go through QC (quality control)?

The importance of QC allows for consistent sizing and quality to be maintained for the clothing label. Going through QC picks up sizing, fabric quality and sewing techniques that could be missed if not done. 

The set up Rue de Seine has is very rare in NZ, how exciting is it to work in this environment?

For me it is great to work in an environment that has advanced technology to help us be more efficient and effective with our work.

To be able to use skills built up over many years and work with others who also have similar skills where we help each other to bring out the best in each other and to be the best we can be. We enjoy passing our knowledge on to the younger and new interns being trained to fill positions within the company.

QC is a new area for me to work in, I enjoy the role and the challenge to create a positive environment for those I work with. This role is very relationship orientated and I love the personal growth that comes from a role like this. Having an eye for detail helps and knowing that there is always more to learn and develop keeps me inspired. My role also includes any training that is needed to achieve a garment with better results.

Why is it important that people know where their clothes are made?

People are becoming more aware of where their garments are made, the environment and conditions where people work is important. Really you want a garment to wear that has a good feel and energy, you can trust the conditions your garment is made in. That people that make your garment have been treated well and the environment is clean and healthy.

Annette Aughton

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